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Question Number: 31318

Character, Attitude and Control 3/7/2017

RE: Competitive Under 19

Dave Bermingham of Herndon, Virginia United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31311

Given the significant events later in the game between Ibra and Mings and what could easily been a second caution sending off for Arter in addition to that given to Surman, it seems to me that Referee K. Friend might look back at the challenge cited by Russell (first of the game) and think 'that's where the game started to slip away'. In terms of game management, where you have teams you are expecting to make aggressive physical challenges on each other I've always been advised to clamp down early so the players don't start trying to rip chunks out of each other as I saw in this match. Clearly, by the time the seven cards started being produced, they weren't enough deterrent to keep the match from hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Any thoughts from the panel on how to find the right level for what is a negligible foul in a given match, while maintaining safety and control?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
What your refer to have been referred to as the Match Moment of Truth.
Some tend to be very apparent violations of the Laws of the game that typically are serious foul play and violent conduct situations that should result in the dismissal of the offender. Examples of these moment of truth situations include:
# Denying a goal scoring opportunity foul by a defender.
# Foul by a defender in the penalty area that will result in a penalty kick.
# Deliberate striking of an opponent.
# A tackle from behind the opponent that is very dangerous and liable to cause an injury to that opponent.

In each of these instances, the offense would be of a blatant nature that should be witnessed by the referee or one of the assistant referees. Not dealing with same can have major repercussions for the game

The not so obvious could be a single situation or series of events that tend to be tactical in nature and generally a cautionable offense. Examples of these MOT situations would be:
# An intimidating hard tackle against a key opponent.
# A foul in the midfield against the opposing team with numbers in their favour as an attack is developing.
# Delay tactics such as holding the ball after a stoppage of play, switching players on throw-ins, kicking the ball away subtly etc
# Verbals between players following a foul .

These situations are more difficult to consider as a MOT event because they are not as obvious but may have as much or even a greater impact on the game as the significant, dramatic occurrences. Actually, it is my view that if the subtle MOTs are not detected and managed effectively by the referee, they will create bigger problems throughout the remainder of the game.
In my game at the weekend I chose not to dismiss on a second caution for a holding foul. I thought I could manage the game without the red card. I then cautioned a player from the opponents sometime later and from that point on I sort of lost the game somewhat. The team then I suspect opined that the caution for the foul that I gave was less than the 2nd caution that I did not give. Players then on both side started to take liberties. I got the game finished without serious incident yet I had my work cut out to do so. Had I dealt with the MOT correctly I would have maintained my full authority over the game from that point on.
In the Referee Friend situation it was the Minks incident that was the MOT in my opinion. When that was not dealt with the Ibrahimovic incident occurred which was unseen and then the Surman sending off happened which was not well managed. Surman was the least guilty of the parties and I think the referee did not think that he was going to have to send off the player as he probably forgot about the 1st caution. Thankfully it was picked up before the restart. The Arter situation then should have been a red yet with all that went on before the referee was somewhat compromised. Throw into the mix the fact that Arter was knocked on the head by Pogba some time earlier as he went past him and was treated belatedly for a head injury one could see the problems for the referee to deal with it. It was not an easy game for the referee.
Sometimes despite our best efforts and trying to deal with MOTs it just gets away from us. The advice I would have is to always self evaluate with a mental review of each game you work as a referee or assistant referee and to expect the unexpected. Referees may be involved in games when an MOT event does not happen, but the referee needs to prepared and able to take action that results in the best possible outcome when it does.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Dave ,
the CMIs are critical match incidents. If a referee misses , gets it wrong or fails to act appropriately those involved and those watching take notice. As to what they decided to do is always interesting given what is perceived to be true and what is actually true have very different imaginations!
At times we can bluff our way,
Do you recall the 2010 world cup where the Dutch player put the boot right into the chest of the Spanish player in what was CLEARLY 100% a red card send off challenge. The referee aware something bad had occurred went to yellow yet that was obviously the wrong colour and he admitted to not having seen it so why a yellow card ? Compare this to 2006 WC qualifier when the Russian referee tried his very best to manage a match between Holland and Portugal where no matter what he did the game unravelled yet it did not do so in the 2010 WC match? Nor did the game unravel when in 2014 world cup final the German keeper kneed the Argentinian player in the head and got a free kick in his favour never mind no card shown.
In these CMIs moments the game morphs into something or struggles to stay as something. Lets face it the pressure to not be found as imbeciles on the world stage does play some part in the behavioural aspects of a televised match. There is not that same level on lesser matches nor in the real world at the park pitches.

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